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201426 May

new maruti alivio

 

Maruti Suzuki is gearing up to launch the SX4 replacement Ciaz sedan in India in August 2014, earlier than previously expected. The Alivio sedan, shown a Auto China in April, is the production version of the Ciaz concept that Maruti displayed at the 2014 Auto Expo in Greater Noida.

 

The new Maruti Ciaz will ostensibly compete with the likes of the new Honda City and the Hyundai Verna, which are the two hottest-selling cars in the mid-size sedan segment in India, but it is larger than both. To give you some perspective, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz measures 4,545 mm in length, which is a substantial 175 mm or six-and-a-half inches longer than the Hyundai Verna. It is longer even than the Nissan Sunny, which is 4,425 mm long. In fact, the new Alivio/Ciaz is just a little bit shorter than the soon-to-be-launched Toyota Corolla Altis, which is 4,620 mm long.

So what does this tell us? Simply, Maruti wants to reset the benchmark for the C-segment. Make no mistake, this is a segment of the Indian car market which Maruti has never capitalized on, and neither the SX4 no its predecessor the Baleno made any significant headway in the sedan market. However, this time around, Suzuki’s engineers have paid particular attention to making the new Ciaz a whole lot more appealing, focusing on its  interiors, particularly the rear seat, which is critical in both India and China.

 

new maruti suzuki alivio front

Suzuki says the Alivio was designed to be "Sporty and Noble". Don't miss the fish-hook elements around the front fog lamps in the lower bumper.

 

The styling of the Alivio is a refreshing departure from what we’ve been seeing from Suzuki until now, but you wouldn’t mistake it for any other brand on the road. Suzuki has managed to make the Alivio refreshing and distinctive, but far more sober than either the City or Verna. One particularly distinctive detail which I like are the ‘fish-hook’ design elements on the lower half of both front and rear bumpers. At the front, they curve around the foglamps, and at the rear, they complement the twin exhausts.

 

suzuki alivio

We don’t have any pictures of the interiors yet, but from what we hear, the Alivio / Ciaz will set a new class benchmark for rear seat space.

 

Suzuki has already clarified that the Ciaz will be powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 120 PS. This 1,586 cc powerplant is most likely a development of the M16A petrol engine which powers the current SX4. The Alivio petrol will be available with both automatic and manual gearboxes. The show car at Auto China 2014 had a 6-speed automatic.

For India, a diesel is a must, and the same Fiat-sourced Multijet 90 PS diesel is expected to soldier on. The diesel Ciaz however, will only come with a manual transmission.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed (or denied) yet, the 1.4-lite K14 petrol engine from the Maruti Ertiga could be offered as a third engine option.  

 

Sales for the new Maruti Suzuki Ciaz are likely to commence in August, like we mentioned at the start of this article. Prices will probably start from Rs 7.5 lakh onwards. This time around, it appears Maruti needn’t compete on price alone. On paper, the new Ciaz looks like a complete sedan, one that buyers from both the premium C-segment and those looking at a D-segment car will likely consider.

 

new maruti suzuki alivio rear

 

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